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March 9, 1984

The Travel Agency Role in Emporiatrics

Author Affiliations

New Mexico Health and Environment Department Santa Fe

JAMA. 1984;251(10):1279-1280. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340340021015

To the Editor.—  Traveler ignorance about health hazards associated with international travel is a major problem.1-4 At least five readily identifiable groups have a role and a responsibility in protecting the health of Americans who travel abroad: physicians, health departments, travel agencies, commercial carriers, and the travelers themselves.1,2 However, consultation with physicians or the health department requires an initial level of awareness of potential health problems; many travelers simply may not know enough to ask the proper questions. In contrast, the prospective traveler nearly always encounters the travel agency-commercial carrier network. For this reason, travel agencies are an attractive site for dissemination of health information for international travelers. However, from the travel agency perspective, distribution of health information may be a complex issue, since awareness of health hazards might dissuade some customers from traveling.1Our recent experience suggests that despite these potential concerns, travel agencies may be